As you are aware a number of issues are being contested in respect of the changes to the sick leave regulations. One of these issues is in respect of the treatment of Pregnancy Related illnesses.
I am happy to advise that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have, following representation from the public service trade unions, agreed to alter the original approach to pregnancy related sick leave. The changes are as follows: -
1. Transitional Arrangements
All pregnancy related sick leave that occurred before the introduction of the new public service sick leave scheme will be discounted for the purpose of calculating access to paid sick leave under the current scheme.
2. A woman who has exhausted her access to paid sick leave, due to pregnancy related sick leave in the previous four years, may have access to additional non-pregnancy related sick leave at half rate of pay. The number of additional days allowed will be the equivalent number of days taken on pregnancy related sick leave in the four years and must not exceed normal sick leave limits, e.g. 183 days for non-pregnancy related sick leave. When counted with other non-pregnancy related sick leave in the previous four years.
It is now intended that the regulations will be amended to include these two provisions and they will be effective from the commencement of the current scheme, i.e. 31 March 2014, for the majority of public servants and 01 September 2014 for the education sector.
The INMO has written to the HSE seeking confirmation that this change and amendment will now be notified to all staff and HR Managers and that the relevant calculation will be made for those who would be effected.
If any INMO member seeks further information in respect of this, please contact your local Industrial Relations Officer who will advise.
Thanking you for your attention to this note,
PHIL Ni SHEAGHDHA
Director of Industrial Relations